The World’s Biggest Lotteries


Lotteries are a great way to find big cash prizes or even housing units. You can even win a kindergarten placement through a lottery. Even professional sports teams play the lottery to determine their draft picks. If you’re a basketball fan, you’ve probably heard of the NBA’s lottery, in which the 14 worst teams compete for the right to pick the best college talent.

State lotteries

State lotteries are a huge industry in the United States. They have nearly doubled in size over the past two decades, generating multibillion-dollar wealth transfers from low-income communities to multinational corporations. A recent study by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland found that lottery retailers are disproportionately located in low-income neighborhoods in nearly every state. The study used cellphone location data to identify the geographic distribution of lottery retailers.

Before the 1970s, state lotteries were little more than traditional raffles, selling tickets in advance of a drawing that was often months away. In the 1970s, state lotteries began introducing instant games, often in the form of scratch-off tickets, with smaller prize amounts and high odds of winning.

Early American lotteries

Lotteries were a common source of cash during the early American republic. By the 1830s, there were as many as 420 state-run lotteries, and they funded many important buildings, including college campuses. While these lotteries became a controversial topic during the Reconstruction, the southern states still used them as a way to raise money. In the 1600s, private lotteries in places such as Jamestown, Virginia, helped fund colonial construction. According to historians, there were some Founding Fathers who supported this type of lottery.

Lotteries in early America were usually administered by state legislatures, but some state legislatures contracted the operation to private management companies. However, there were a number of problems with these lotteries, including fraud and corruption. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for example, authorized a lottery in 1811 to raise $340,000 for the construction of the Union Canal. But the lottery produced only about a third of the money expected.

French lotteries

Although the odds of winning the France Loto Jackpot are not very high, the amount of money can be huge if you do happen to win. In 2011, a lucky player won 24 million euros after a series of 13 draws. The jackpot started out at 13 million euros and nearly doubled thanks to a number of rollovers.

The French Lottery is a national lottery run by the government. Its winning numbers are from one to 49 and a Lucky Number from one to 10. Players can purchase tickets for two euros per draw. The jackpot will increase by one million euros each draw until the jackpot reaches 36 million euros. Then, the prize will be split among the winners of the next prize tier.

Dutch state-owned Staatsloterij

The Netherlands’ state-owned Staatsloterij draws winners every month and is one of the oldest lottery systems in the world. Its games have generated millions of Euros in prize money and are a popular way to support various charities. The game is known for its reliability and has been drawing winners for over four centuries.

The Dutch government is responsible for licensing the games, and its regulation has been based on the laws and betting practices of the Vikings and the tribes that once inhabited the Netherlands. The first state-issued gambling license was granted in the 14th century. Today, the Staatsloterij is the world’s longest-running lottery.

Italian National Lottery

The Italian National Lottery has reached a new record when it awarded a EUR209 million jackpot in August 2019. The prize was won by a single ticket purchased in Lodi, Lombardy. It was the biggest lottery jackpot in Europe at the time. The jackpot was claimed in a bar in Lodi, near Milan, which became a hub of activity when the winning ticket was revealed.

Despite the massive jackpot, the Italian lottery has been linked to numerous cases of fraud. In one case, criminals bribed children in Milan to pick the winning numbers, telling them to pick only the shiny balls. The children, some of whom were orphans, were told to choose only the balls with the highest shine. Others were related to officials from the finance ministry. The criminals even taught the children how to squint through their blindfolds in order to pick out the tampered balls.